Cancer cells resist inhibitory signals that might otherwise stop their growth. The major pathways involved are Autophagy and Death Receptor Signaling (Apoptosis), both of which can ultimately lead to cell death, and reduction in tumor growth.
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Cancer cells can revert to a pre-differentiated, stem-cell-like phenotype, allowing uninhibited cellular division and other metabolic adaptations that enable survival in adverse conditions.
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Cancer cells stimulate their own growth, which means they become self-sufficient in growth signals, and no longer depend on external signals (like Epidermal Growth Factor EGF/ EGFR). Proliferation depends highly on these three important pathways: Akt, MAPK/Erk, and MTOR.
Molecular oxygen (O2) is an essential element for metazoan life. Among its many roles, O2 functions as the final electron acceptor (oxidizing agent) during oxidative phosphorylation, a metabolic chain-reaction that generates energy in the form of ATP.
Cancer cells stimulate the growth of blood vessels to supply nutrients to tumors. Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing blood vessels. This plays an important role in tumor growth.
Over the last 50 years laboratories have been able to demonstrate through experimentation the processes contributing to cell death. Early discoveries focused on morphological features of cell death and classifications into apoptosis and necrosis. Since then, there have been many more discoveries regarding the programmed cellular pathways contributing to apoptosis.
Topics: Cell Biology
Cell lines are a crucial part of life science research and development. But did you know an estimated 18-36% of cell lines are believed to be misidentified or cross-contaminated with another cell line?